Conditioning pays off for Cougars against Gryphons
TRURO - A lot of hard work over the Christmas break paid dividends for the Cobequid Cougars Wednesday.
The Cougars saw the fruits of their conditioning training over Christmas in a 89-42 win over the North Nova Gryphons at CEC. The win improves the Cougars to 12-9 and gives the Cougars a 2-1 lead in their season series.
"It really paid off," said senior Cougars guard T.J. Jordan. "We were just in better shape than they were. They were getting tired and we were still fresh.
"I think that was one of our better games all year."
The game was the first for Cobequid since the holiday break, which saw the Cougars work to improve their conditioning. They regularly met at the school to run up and down the stairs, work with medicine balls and perform other exercises.
"That's one thing you can control as an athlete is your fitness level," said Cougars coach Marc Roberts.
"The guys really put the work in and I would definitely say it shows."
Although the two sides were evenly matched in the opening quarter, with Cobequid leading 17-15, the Cougars defence strangled the Gryphons in the second, allowing just six more points leading to half time.
"That was big," Jordan said.
Roberts said he was also happy with his team's offensive output, something he asked veteran players Jordan, Andrew Myette and Brandon MacKay to improve on in the second half of the season.
"That was probably some of the best basketball I've seen them play," Roberts said. "They did a lot of little, subtle things that I was really happy about."
Roberts was also encouraged by the fact that despite substituting big contributors Shane Stonehouse and Ryan Pedersen early due to foul trouble, replacements Nick Roberts and Dylan Hortie helped the Cougars take control in that second quarter.
"They came in and helped us pull away," Roberts said.
"That's a really good thing to see."
The Cougars are in action again this weekend at the North Nova Invitational.
"Hopefully this performance transfers into this weekend," Roberts said.